As part of therapy, we frequently explore purpose, spirituality, faith, and identity.
These topics aren’t off-limits.
For many, their spiritual or religious identity is an extremely meaningful part of their life and their understanding of self. Here at LifePath therapy, we welcome all parts of you, including your spiritual self and journey.
Incorporating your spiritual identity into therapy can take many forms. For some it may be exploring your spiritual or religious identity if it feels in question or tenuous, creating space to hold the tensions. It may be having a space where your therapist recognizes and understands how your spiritual beliefs impact your worldview, values, and sense of self – identifying where your spirituality is a source of strength. And for other folks it may be healing from religious trauma, understanding and unpacking the impact of belief systems and communities that were harmful.
It may be helpful to seek out therapy at a spiritually welcoming practice if you find yourself experiencing…
- Distress/confusion about your spiritual identity
- Post-traumatic stress such as flashbacks
- A desire for a therapist that will recognize and acknowledge your spiritual identity without judgment or dismissal
At LifePath we recognize that for many their spiritual experiences, communities, and beliefs have been life affirming. Others however, have experienced religious trauma within faith communities.
Religious Trauma is trauma experienced in a religious context or as a result of religious beliefs, practices, or structures. It is often a result of being in an authoritarian religion or faith community. Suffering with religious trauma may look like struggling with difficulty trusting oneself, experiencing shame or low self esteem, all or nothing thinking, or feeling indebted to a group of people. Often in fundamentalist spiritual communities, the views and beliefs taught about emotions, relationships, sex, purity, authority, discipline, and self-expression may contribute to pain and mental health challenges. These environments also often breed sexual abuse, abuse of power by those in leadership, secrecy, group policing and social shaming.
Below are some symptoms commonly experienced by people suffering from Religious Trauma Syndrome.
- Negative beliefs about self, others, and the world
- Difficulty making decisions and trusting oneself
- Rigid thought patterns
- Difficulties experiencing pleasure or loss of meaning
- Sexual difficulties or pain
- Feelings of depression, anxiety, grief, anger, lethargy
- A sense of feeling lost, directionless, and alone
- A loss of a community, feeling that you don’t belong
- Feeling isolated
- A deep sense of shame
Spiritual identity therapy at LifePath is not… about your therapist imposing a particular belief system or spiritual perspective/practices on you. All paths are recognized and affirmed and our work together is about discovering which path is meaningful and helpful for you.
Begin Healing from religious trauma and strengthen your spiritual identity in Chicago, IL
Many of our compassionate therapists specialize in supporting folks going through grief and loss. We hope that you will reach out today to get the support that you deserve.
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Our therapists understand that people face a multitude of unique challenges across the lifespan, and we offer therapy services for grief and loss support, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress and complex trauma, gender and sexuality, maternal mental health, young adults, couples work, family therapy, and caregiver support, as well as many other specialized areas of focus. Reach out today to be matched with the therapist who is the best fit for you!